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APA (6th Edition) Referencing Guide

Referencing Guide based on the 6th Edition of APA style

No date

If there is no date use 'n.d.' (for 'no date') in both the in text citation and the reference list.

In text:

In the late 1950s, white Australians became more aware of indigenous living conditions reported in the news (National Museum Australia, n.d.).

The civil rights movements started to gain momentum in Australia as "events in the late 1950s brought the sufferings of the few into the living rooms of the many" (National Museum Australia, n.d.).

In the reference list:

National Museum of Australia. (n.d.). The fight for civil rights. Retrieved from

Regarding reference list order:

If you have several works by the same author, and one of the works has no date but the other works are dated, (n.d.) is treated as the oldest work for ordering your references

If you have multiple citations from the same author which also do not have a date, you will follow the same instructions as you would if there was a date: order the citations in your reference list alphabetically by title, and place an "a", "b", etc after the date.

National Museum of Australia (n.d.-a). Nelson the Newfoundland's dog collar. Retrieved from

National Museum of Australia. (n.d.-b). Newcastle bakery cart. Retrieved from

No page numbers

If there are no page numbers, you can include any of the following in the in-text citation:

  • If paragraph numbers are visible use them in place of page numbers; alternatively, you could count paragraphs down from the beginning of the document. Use the abbreviation 'para.'
    • "On Australia Day 1938 William Cooper ... joined forces with Jack Patten and William Ferguson ... to hold a Day of Mourning to draw attention to the losses suffered by Aboriginal people at the hands of the whiteman" (National Museum of Australia, n.d., para. 4).
  • If the document contains headings but no page numbers or paragraph numbers, use the heading plus a paragraph number within that section.
    • "in 1957 news of a report by the Western Australian government provided the catalyst for a reform movement" (National Museum of Australia, n.d., The catalyst for change section, para. 1)
  • If the heading is too long you can shorten it and place it in "quotation marks". In this case the full heading was "Alick Jackomos recalls petition-gathering for the referendum with Doug Nicholls"
    • "By the end of this year of intense activity over 100,000 signatures had been collected" (National Museum of Australia, n.d., "petition gathering", para. 1).

In your reference list:

If you have a PDF or a document in which you can count the number of pages, it is currently standard practice to use the page range instead (e.g., 1-8 for an eight page document).

If there are no pages to be counted (for example, an html document), skip that part of the pattern and simply put a full stop after the last part of the pattern you have (e.g., the volume or issue number) instead of putting it after the page numbers, before including the DOI or URL.

Long quote

Please note: Unless you are studying literature or history, (or a similar subject in which long quotes might be necessary or desirable), it is highly unlikely that your lecturer will want you to use long quotations. Most subjects taught in JCU prefer you to paraphrase the information rather than provide lengthy quotes. Check with your lecturer if you are not sure.

Quotes of less than 40 words:

enter the quote in "double quotation marks" within the text with the in-text citation going before the final full stop (APA, 2010, p. 92).

Quotes with more than 40 words:

Enter the quote in an indented block without "quotation marks" with the in-text citation appearing after the final full stop (APA, 2010, p. 92).

For example:

It has been pointed out that:

If the quote has 40 words or more, display it in a freestanding block of text and omit the quotation marks. Start such a block quotation on a new line and indent the block about a half inch [1.27cm] from the left margin (in the same position as a new paragraph). If there are additional paragraphs within the quotation, indent the first line of each additional paragraph an additional half inch [1.27cm]....At the end of a block quotation, cite the quoted source and the page or the paragraph number in parentheses [brackets] after the final punctuation mark. Alternatively, if the quoted source is cited in the sentence introducing the block quote..., only the page or paragraph number is needed at the end of the quotation. (APA, 2010, p. 171)


The APA Blog has provided some more examples of how to layout a block quote.

Organisation as an author

In text citation:

For the first time it is cited, put the full name of the organisation and the abbreviation or acronym in square brackets.

Australian Bureau of Statistics ([ABS], 2013) shows that . . .

(Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 2013)

In the second and subsequent citations, only include the abbreviation or acronym

ABS (2013) found that ...

This is disputed (ABS, 2013)

In the reference list:

Use the full name of the organisation in the reference list.


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2017). Australia's welfare 2017. Retrieved from

The article is 'in press"

Manuscript in Preparation (not yet finished)

Cite and reference using the year the draft of the manuscript you read was written.

Kirk, J. T. (2011). Reprogramming the Kobayashi Maru test: A tale of an inside job and the genius behind it. Manuscript in preparation.

Manuscript Submitted for Publication (not yet accepted)
If the manuscript has been submitted for publication, again use the year the manuscript was written (not the year it was submitted) as your date. Also, do not provide the name of the journal or publisher to which the manuscript was submitted.

Castle, R. (2012). Shadowing a police officer: How to be unobtrusive while solving cases in spectacular fashion. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Manuscript Accepted for Publication

Once an article is accepted for publication, the status changes to in press and you can include the name of the journal in the reference.

Castle, R. (in press). Shadowing a police officer: How to be unobtrusive while solving cases in spectacular fashion. Professional Writers’    Journal.

Advance Online Publication
Provide the author(s), year of posting, title of the article, name of the journal, the notation Advance online publication, and the DOI or the URL of the journal’s home page.

Muldoon, K., Towse, J., Simms, V., Perra, O., & Menzies, V. (2012). A longitudinal analysis of estimation, counting skills, and mathematical ability across the first school year. Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/a0028240

For more details, please see the APA Style Blog.

Lots of in text citations

"Within a paragraph, when the name of the author is part of the narrative.., you need not include the year in subsequent nonparenthetical references to a study as long as the study cannot be confused with other studies cited in the article" (APA, 2010, p. 174)

In other words, if you include the name of the author in your sentence at the start of the paragraph and put the year in brackets after it, you do not need to keep including the year every time you refer to the same work within that paragraph as long as you keep making it clear where the information is coming from. Include a full in-text citation at the end of the paragraph.


Among epidemiological samples, Wagtail (2003) found that early onset social anxiety disorder results in a more potent and severe course. Wagtail also found …. It can also be seen in Wagtail’s study that … Wagtail confirmed that ... The study also showed that there was a high rate of cat related incidents (Wagtail, 2003).

However, when both the name and the date are in brackets, include the year in all subsequent citations with the paragraph (APA, 2010, p. 174)

Early onset social anxiety disorder results in a more potent and severe course (Wagtail, 2003). Wagtail (2003) also found…. The study by Wagtail (2003) shows that … Wagtail (2003) confirmed that ... It has also been shown that there was a high rate of cat related incidents (Wagtail, 2003).


Two authors have the same name?

Same author and date

In the reference list:

Order the references in the reference list alphabetically by title (excluding 'A' or 'The'). Assign the letters after the date according to their order in the reference list (not the order of appearance in text).

Longley, L. (2008a). Anaesthesia and analgesia in rabbits and rodents. In Practice, 30(2), 92-97. doi:10.1136/inpract.30.2.92

Longley, L. (2008b). Clinical refresher: Intubation of rabbits. Companion Animal, 13(5), 68-70. doi:10.1111/j.2044-3862.2008.tb00289.x

In text citation:

Longley (2008a) notes that many small animals are susceptible to...

"Positioning of the rabbit is paramount to the technique of intubation" (Longley, 2008b, p. 68).

…the use of a laryngoscope (Longley, 2008a, 2008b).

Same author, different first initial:

If the reference list includes two or more primary authors with the same surname, include the first author's initials in all in-text citations, even if the years are different (refer to the APA manual, 6th edition, p. 176).

Smith, K. T. (2017). Hospital marketing and communications via social media. Services Marketing Quarterly, 38(3), 187-201. doi:10.1080/15332969.2017.1363518

Smith, S. A., & Brunner, S. R. (2016). The great whoosh: Connecting an online personal health narrative and communication privacy management. Health Communication, 31(1), 12-21. doi:10.1080/10410236.2014.930551

In text citation:

…including the use of social media (K. T. Smith, 2017).

…such as online health narratives (S. A. Smith & Brunner, 2016).

Different authors with the same surname and the same first intial:

In the reference list:

"If the reference list includes different authors with the same surname and the first initial, the authors’ full first names may be given in brackets” (refer to the APA manual, 6th edition, p. 184).

Jones, L. [Lindsey], & Tanner, T. (2017). ‘Subjective resilience’: Using perceptions to quantify household resilience to climate extremes and disasters. Regional Environmental Change, 17(1), 229-243. doi:10.1007/s10113-016-0995-2

Jones, L. [Lorelei], & Mays, N. (2016). The experience of potentially vulnerable people during cold weather: Implications for policy and practice. Public Health, 137, 20-25. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2015.12.008

In text citation:

Include authors' full first full name in the in-text citation (APA, 2010, p. 184)

Lindsey Jones and Tanner (2017) show that…

…and associated health implications (Lorelei Jones & Mays, 2016).

I read about it in another source

Academically, it is better to find the original source and reference that.

If you do have to quote a secondary source:

  • In the text you must cite the original author of the quote as well as the source you read it in.
  • In the reference list you only list the source that you actually read.

In text citation:

Shakespeare claimed that "the mice disappeared within minutes" (as cited in Frogmouth, 2013, pp. 10-12).

Shakespeare (as cited in Frogmouth, 2013) noted that the mice didn't stay long.

Some have noted that the mice didn't stay long (Shakespeare, as cited in Frogmouth, 2013).

In the reference list:

Frogmouth, T. (2013). Think like a cat. Birdsville, FL: Crazy Chook Press.

You are citing more than one source in the same sentence

You need to cite all the sources you have used in a sentence.

If you wish to put two or more in-text citations in the same brackets, they go in the same order that they appear in the reference list (i.e. alphabetically and then, if the names are the same, by year).

Separate the in-text citations by different authors with a semicolon ; and a space. Two works by the same author are separated by a comma.

(Drongo, 2014; Frogmouth et al., 2000).

(Sunbird & Jay, 2010, 2012).

(Drongo, 2014, p. 5; Frogmouth et al., 2000, p. 12).

(Drongo, 2014; Frogmouth et al., 2000; Sunbird & Jay, 2010, 2012).

(Longley, 2008a, 2008b; Smith, 2014, 2016).

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